Doctor Who #131: The Smugglers Part 3

"Threaten you me with the rope? Then you shall stand with me on the gallows."TECHNICAL SPECS: Missing except from two violent clips, I've used a reconstruction (Part 1, Part 2). First aired Sep.24 1966.

IN THIS ONE... The Doctor escapes and finds the key to Avery's treasure, as the villains bear down on him and on each other.

REVIEW: Having two villainous factions creates interesting levels of morality in this episode, with Pike and Cherub at the lowest possible level, and Kewper and the Squire somewhere in the middle. So Kewper does indeed help the Doctor escape the Black Albatross, but he turns against him once they're free, and uses what he's found out on the ship to prepare a trap for Pike's men and get Avery's treasure for his side. There are lines his ally the Squire won't cross, however, and while he's quite happy to run a smuggling ring, he balks at killing someone in cold blood. Kewper's a lot more flexible when it comes to that. Pike and Cherub's morality isn't so much flexible as it is completely absent. Pike kills one of his own men for allowing the Doctor and Kewper to escape, and plans not only to take Avery's treasure, but to steal the smuggler's hoard as well. His gentlemanly facade drops completely when he is angered, and there's no doubt the man is a monster. As for Cherub, he skulks around the episode, much as Blake had in the previous one, and pops out at the end just to kill Kewper and shoot the Squire.

It's in this cutthroat environment that our heroes must survive. This is made easier by two things: First, some of the characters are dumb, so Jamaica lets himself be distracted by the Doctor's card reading and gets knocked out for his trouble. It's a fun scene because the Doctor delights in making the cards tell the story, and doesn't play too much on Jamaica's superstitious nature. Yes, he feigns a supernatural ability, but he could have been doing card tricks or inventing fizzbin and the outcome would have been the same. The other advantage they have is Blake, who knows better than to trust the Squire, but needs more evidence before going up against him. Look for him to get a posse together to fight off the pirates. Jamaica is really the only rube in the episode, because the other villains are actively trying to outsmart one another. Even as Kewper plans an ambush for that night, Pike is accelerating his plans to attack in broad daylight to keep the element of surprise. Cherub plays spy, and both sides plan to use the Doctor to lead them to the treasure.

The Doctor might have the three names the churchwarden gave him, but it's his companions' enthusiasm that unlocks the code. During a short breather from the action and intrigue, they walk through the church cemetary and marvel at some colorful epitaphs, which in turn makes the Doctor realize the names were like a map of the crypt under the church. I think this is the first time a companion has accidentally given the Doctor the answer and been complimented for it. These days, all the companions are "brilliant" even if they don't mean to be, but "inspired" Polly might have been the first. Other companions have contributed, but they were doing so on purpose. The start of a charming Doctor Who tradition.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - The intrigue between the villains keep the episode humming along nicely, and the brutality of the character deaths keeps our heroes in constant danger.

0 comments:

 

Blog Archive

Category

5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine